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08.03.2009 Togo

Fuel smuggling to Togo on the increase

By gna

Mr Moses Atsu Kumalor, a retired Sailor, has advised the government to act with dispatch to tackle the massive smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring Togo from the Ketu-South District.

He said the situation was worrying as smugglers were ferrying thousands of litres of petroleum products by sea and land into Togo daily.

Mr Kumalor, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Aflao, suggested the reconstitution of the District Anti-Fuel Smuggling Security Task Force.

He said the illicit trade, which resurfaced when prices were lowered in December last year, would worsen as a result of further decreases in price this week.

He urged the authorities to compel the GPRTU and other transport associations to always reduce transport fares commensurate with fuel price cuts so that the average commuter could benefit.

Mr Kumalor held that only transport operators stood to make windfalls from oil price reductions unless commercial drivers were made to reduce fares drastically.

Investigations by the GNA showed that a litre of petrol which currently costs about 82Gp in Ghana, attracts the equivalent of GH¢1.32 in Togo.

A fuel station attendant in Togo confirmed to the GNA that petrol was virtually pouring in from Ghana by land and sea.

The Aflao Police also confirmed the situation and blamed Fuel Station managers in and around Aflao for colluding with the smugglers.

The Police said many of the smugglers have devised means of swimming with gallons of fuel by sea into Togo.